After a complex journey, McDonalds workers have approved a new enterprise bargaining agreement which improves penalty rates on late nights and weekends, makes it easier for casual employees to secure permanent work and provides a strong basis for future improvements.
The agreement was approved with a 59% ‘yes’ vote versus a 41% ‘no’ vote, with over 50,000 McDonalds workers participating.
The significant ‘no’ vote reflects the position taken by the SDA when the ballot opened prior to the Federal election. At that time, it looked likely that Labor would form Government and then implement a restoration of penalty rates in their first 100 days.
SDA National Secretary Gerard Dwyer said a key stumbling block in negotiations between the SDA and McDonalds had been the company’s refusal to include a penalty rate mirroring clause which would have passed on any improvements in penalty rates which a future Federal Labor Government had committed to.
“The SDA refused to support an agreement that could have locked McDonalds workers out of potential penalty rate rises delivered under a future Labor Government, and therefore took the position of advising McDonalds workers to vote ‘no’ on the agreement before the election.”
The ballot opened just prior to the election and closed last Saturday 1 June.
Mr Dwyer said once the unexpected Federal election result was clear, and the inclusion of a penalty rate mirroring clause in the McDonalds EBA had become a moot point, the SDA still had reservations about aspects of the proposed EBA, and updated McDonalds workers with revised communications on the issue of penalty rates and the Federal election outcome.
“With a Coalition election victory and the prospect of reversing penalty rate cuts regrettably not supported by a Morrison Government, the SDA advised McDonald’s workers to consider the new terms of pay and conditions in the proposed EBA including shortfalls that we will be seeking to have rectified by undertakings before the Fair Work Commission (FWC).”
“This agreement will improve penalty rates for McDonalds workers, provides a new laundry allowance, creates a formal process that will assist casual employees in securing permanent work and ensures those on higher base rates of pay do not fall straight back to Fast Food Award rates of pay.”
Mr Dwyer said despite these benefits the SDA would be asking the FWC to address several issues during the approval process.
“The SDA would be seeking undertakings from the company to improve some conditions, including removing the $80 uniform deposit for new employees and delivering a paid 10-minute tea break for all employees working 4 hours or more.”
Mr Dwyer also said that maintaining an enterprise bargaining agreement for McDonalds employees, where all employees are better off overall than if they were under the Award has always been the aim of the SDA, and will provide a strong foundation on which improvements in pay and conditions could be built in future agreements.
The agreement will now be forwarded to the Fair Work Commission for review and approval.
Media contact: Darren Rodrigo 0414 783 405